Western Cape Education Department Prepared and Ready for 2011
Tomorrow marks the end of the 2010 academic school year.
It has been a challenging year for education. An enormous amount of effort has been put into ensuring that our learners receive a quality education in the midst of various disruptions this year.
The extended June/July holiday and the public servants strike are two such examples.
However, I am proud of how our Department, districts and schools have rallied together to offset the effects of these disruptions. I am also pleased with the significant progress we have made this year in reaching our overarching objective of improving education in this province.
Examples include the passing of the Western Cape Provincial School Education Amendment Bill, the expansion of literacy and numeracy testing, the rollout of extra textbooks, targeted interventions in underperforming schools and the successful implementation of our infrastructure programme.
We do realise though, that we still have some way to go in ensuring that every child receives a quality education.
In 2011, we will continue to build on the foundations we have laid this year, specifically targeting the early phases of learning and the literacy and numeracy skills of our learners.
Some of our plans include increasing textbook provision in grades two (2) and three (3), the provision of maths textbooks for every child in Grades two (2) to seven (7), and the distribution of reading schemes for home languages and first additional languages for primary schools.
In September, we issued a School Planning Calendar for the 2011 school year in order to prepare teachers, principals and parents well in advance about education activities planned for 2011.
The calendar included a schedule of dates for training programmes, meetings, tests and examinations, as well as, other important administrative deadlines.
This has allowed schools enough time to pro-actively plan ahead and prepare for the upcoming year.
Another major focus for 2011 is the protection of instruction time.
Therefore, officials have been working around the clock to ensure that teaching and learning will start on the first day of new school year, helping schools to finalise timetables and to resolve staffing, administrative and security issues, where necessary.
The Department does expect some late enrolments by learners, especially those that have migrated from other provinces, and have therefore identified areas where there might be high levels of demand. These include, Kuilsrivier, Mfuleni, Hout Bay, Delft, Du Noon, Wallacedene, Plettenberg Bay, Mosselbay and George.
We are expecting eight-three thousand (83 000) learners to qualify for enrolment in Grade one (1) next year.
In terms of the holiday period, the Western Cape Education Department's Safe Schools Division has arranged a number of holiday programmes at specific schools.
Most of these programmes will run in the week of 13-17 December and will occupy learners with sport activities, arts and crafts and discussions about drug awareness and safety.
In terms of school safety, Safe Schools will put in place twenty-four (24) hour security patrols at one hundred and thirty (130) identified schools and two hundred and forty (240) schools will receive cluster patrols during the holiday period.
I am also calling on the community to be vigilant and to report any suspicious behaviour at our schools during this period.
Finally, I would like to wish all our educators, learners and staff a happy and safe holiday. Thank you for your support and dedication.
We can all be proud of our efforts this year and look forward to what we can achieve in 2011.
The 2010 literacy and numeracy results will allow us to determine new targets for primary schools, as well as, where to focus our strategies, and it is with great anticipation that we will wait for the release of the 2010 National Senior Certificate (NSC) results. These results will determine whether the strategies we have put in place this year have been successful and will provide us with new targets for 2011.
Minster of Education, Western Cape
Minister of Education, Donald Grant
Cell: 072 724 1422